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Way too early predictions for 2021-22 NBA champion

DraftKings Sportsbook is already offering odds for who will win it all next season. We take a look at make some way too early picks.

The Nets Kyrie Irving waves a towel in celebration as the final seconds ticked off the clock, his teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden are behind him. The Boston Celtics host the Brooklyn Nets in Game Four of their first round NBA Playoff series at the TD Garden in Boston on May 30, 2021. Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The 2021-22 NBA season has come to a close after the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games to win the championship. Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to weather the storm of injuries to be the last MVP standing, helping the Bucks win a title for the first time since 1970-71. With the season finally over, we can shift our sights to 2021-22.

There are a few teams we might have mentioned above had it not been for injuries, teams we find at the top of the odds board on DraftKings Sportsbook to win a championship in 2021-22. The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will all look to retool and recover in time to make a playoff run next summer. You could argue two of the three would be involved in this NBA Finals had injuries to Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard hadn’t taken place.

Let’s take a look at the championship odds on DKSB and make a few early picks.

Brooklyn Nets +210

As was previously mentioned, the Nets are likely wrapping up (or had already wrapped up) their championship run if Kyrie Irving and James Harden weren’t banged up. The Nets almost got past the Bucks despite those injuries. As long as Kevin Durant, Harden and Irving are all healthy, the Nets are the team to beat next season.

Dallas Mavericks +2800

The West should be wide open next season. The Lakers will be favored because of LeBron James but we saw their are major flaws throughout the rest of the roster behind him and AD. If LA doesn’t fix things, we could see another letdown of a season.

With that said, I think there are a bunch of teams in the West grouped in from 12/1 to the Mavs at 28/1 who are decent values. Dallas is normally pretty active during the offseason and Mark Cuban is always looking to improve the roster. Luka Doncic is in a contract year and in Year 4 could put together the complete MVP season. We saw Doncic nearly drag the Mavericks past the Clippers in the first round with little help. If Dallas makes a move to add someone like Bradley Beal or another complimentary scorer or big to Doncic, we’ll see the Mavs odds jump up before the start of next season.

Toronto Raptors +8000

The Raptors had a down year thanks to injuries. Pretty much all of their key players missed at least 10+ games, including Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby. Lowry may be on his way out and Norman Powell was traded to Portland for Gary Trent Jr. Toronto’s roster still has a ton of depth at guard even if Lowry doesn’t re-sign.

Trent, FVV, Malachi Flynn and Terence Davis can hold things down. Siakam, Boucher and OG, when healthy, form a very tough front court. All that and the Raptors have the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, which is said to be deep with talent. Most of the guys mentioned above have won it all. If Trent, Flynn, Davis and Boucher all improve over the offseason, there’s no reason to believe the Raptors can’t contend for the 1-seed in the East.

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